When you travel to a foreign country or a far away place in your country you’ve never been before, do you try to find places where you can taste local cuisine? Do you enjoy new tastes, smells or new ways of food preparation? I certainly do, and everywhere I go I try to eat mostly local food. It’s great way to get to know the place, people’s habits and everyday life, because cuisine is usually reflection of climate conditions, surroundings and locals’ way of life.
Well, up until some years ago, the specialty I’ll be writing about today was also foreign to me, even though it is common meal in the kitchens of the area only 10 km away from my town. But, it’s never being prepared in homes of Split, not even in restaurants (which is a big mistake, IMHO).
The specialty is called Soparnik and it belongs to kitchen of Poljica area (historical name is Poljička republic). It’s the area between towns Split, Sinj and Omis. Local people often prepare this meal, it’s part of every celebration menu and it’s really, really delicious. I won’t be listing any ingredients since you’ll see everything in the photos. :)
First you prepare dough, split it into two halves, take a rolling pin and make two big, thin, round pieces.
Stuffing is very simple: Swiss chard cut into stripes, parsley, a bit of spring onion and a lots of olive oil. Freshly pressed, tasty olive oil from the olive trees that grow 50 meters away. Haha, ok, it does not have to be the oil from the olive trees 50 m away – quality extra virgin olive oil from your local store will be just fine. But it has to be good. :)
In the meantime, fire is being prepared (the kitchen stove also can do).
You mix everything up…
…and spread it through the round dough you prepared.
When it’s done – it has to look like a football field :D
Then you cover it with the other thin and round dough. Carefully….
You fix the edges with scissors…
…and twist them so the stuffing doesn’t go out.
It has to look like this.
And now, it’s time for baking.
After being placed into furnace, the big Soparnik pancake is covered by ember and ashes.
After 20 minutes of baking, the meal is finished. All you have to do now is take it out of the furnace…
…and dust off the remaining ashes for aesthetic purposes.
And then, Soparnik receives the final touch – sliced garlic…
…and again some olive oil.
A lots of olive oil, to be precise. Did I mention it is a freshly pressed, tasty olive oil from the olive trees that grow 50 meters away? Ops, sorry, I did :)))
Spread it all over baked Soparnik.
And voila!! (:drumroll:) It’s ready to dig into it.
If you ever happen to be in Split or the Poljica region on a vacation or a business trip, make sure you find a place where you can try this fabulous meal. Taste of Poljicki Soparnik will knock you off your feet!
In the end I’d like to thank beautiful people Marija and Zlatko from Zrnovnica for their warm welcome and for being so patient with posing for this little Soparnik photo session.